We only need one extra full-time controller at these airports

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 6:01p.m.
The air traffic control tower at Auckland Airport. (Photo/ Jason Oxenham)

Air traffic controllers are fighting for toilet breaks, even if it means extra staff need to be hired to cover them.

The Air Line Pilots' Association says controllers are considered an essential service, which means they aren't guaranteed rest and meal breaks in a new amendment bill.

President Tim Robinson says seven of our control towers have just one staff member in them, and they effectively can't take a break.

"We may be talking about only one extra full-time controller at these airports.

"They can just have one to cover rest and meal breaks, and we don't think will mean a whole lot of extra man power required throughout the network."

Robinson says the amendment bill means traffic controllers at seven solo towers effectively can't go to the toilet.

"Not unless they go through a procedure which takes about 10-15 minutes to enable them to effectively remove themselves from the tower and go to the toilet.

"It's very convoluted, and it's not really practical."

Tim Robinson says the problem could be solved by hiring extra staff to cover them on their breaks.

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